Creator Greg Daniels explains how he came to realize that the actor's dysfunctional Andy Bernard could have a bright future at Dunder Mifflin
It’s not a daily show, but for Ed Helms, it’ll do: According to today’s Hollywood Reporter, the former fake news correspondent and current recurring character on The Office is being bumped up to a Dunder Mifflin regular.
His obnoxious, near-schizophrenic brownnoser, Andy Bernard, has certainly shaken things up at the Scranton branch, entering a power struggle that briefly led to the firing of Dwight (Rainn Wilson). In last week’s episode, Dwight’s return seemed to spell doom for Andy, but according to American Office creator Greg Daniels, the dude with the self-produced ”Rockin’ Robin”’ ringtone and fondness for Benihana isn’t going anywhere.
”He was actually on a deal with the studio,” Daniels says, ”and they asked, ‘Why don’t you meet Ed?’ It’s kind of like going to a tailor for a fitting: We just had a long talk about where he grew up and his family and everything.”
The conversation led to a character — the ambitious, back-stabbing preppie — and when a heartbroken Jim (John Krasinski) transferred to Stamford at the start of this season, Helms evolved as a natural foil. Now back at Scranton thanks to a branch merger (redundancies!), Jim and Andy are continuing their rivalry, and Daniels says Helms has continued to grow on him. ”He’s so funny and a great improviser,” says Daniels of Helms. ”And we started to really enjoy writing for him.”
So what’s next for Helms/Andy on the show? ”Well, he punched a hole in the wall,” says Daniels. ”That’s not okay in an office. Ed’s in anger management right now.” Hard to believe there was room for more dysfunction in that joint, but we suppose ”rage problems” had gone untapped.